Livingston mum who refused to leave Deans South 'ghost village' condemned property wins battle for new home

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A mum who refused to leave her condemned property in ‘ghost village’ estate for 18 years has won her battle for brand new home.

Kerry Macintosh declined to leave her home after properties in Deans South, Livingston were earmarked for demolition in 2004 over a fault in the concrete used to build them.

The determined mum stood her ground and campaigned with neighbours for years to get a home for home deal,

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While council tenants were rehoused, those who owned their homes like Ms Macintosh were offered a payout.

Kerry MacIntosh who has lived on Deans South in Livingston for years (SWNS)Kerry MacIntosh who has lived on Deans South in Livingston for years (SWNS)
Kerry MacIntosh who has lived on Deans South in Livingston for years (SWNS)

Some of them accepted but Ms Macintosh refused saying she “couldn't afford a caravan with what the council offered never mind a three bedroom family home”.

It has been a long, hard road for the families who bought the former council homes and fought for an equivalent. But Ms Macintosh and a few other remaining residents have

struck a deal with developer.

On Friday (September 16) she is due to leave the empty street where she spent many hard winters surrounded by hostile, boarded up houses – 18 years after her home was condemned.

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Graffiti in Deans South calling for a fair deal for homeownersGraffiti in Deans South calling for a fair deal for homeowners
Graffiti in Deans South calling for a fair deal for homeowners

She said: "I dug my heels in and said no, we're not going to leave. We'll fight it. So I had the choice, either take the deal or take the risk.

"I took the risk, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. It's been stressful, but as a mum you just have to keep going. Every day I've got up to work, look after my

kids, and fought for my house."

Ms Macintosh was determined to stay until she got a fairer deal, but she never thought she'd still be in Deans South 18 years later.

Watching neighbours leaving was hard and she said she had to be her own security guard, at times feeling unsafe.

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"Water seeps through into my walls and it causes water beads on the walls. It goes on to my furniture as well," she said.

"You can actually feel the water moisture and smell the damp in my property and it's actually affected a lot of my personal belongings."

"It felt very daunting at first and at nights I couldn't sleep because there were a lot of break-ins, fires, weirdos walking around checking the area," Ms Macintosh said.

"So really I had to be on my guard, I had to be my own security guard around my property."

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A developer has bought the land, giving Ms Macintosh and other remaining homeowners new houses on the site in return for their old ones, the BBC reported.

Redevelopment is already underway on the estate and now, with Ms Macintosh moving out to temporary accommodation, building work can start on the rest of the estate.

Ms Macintosh is sad to leave home where her kids grew up but looking forward to settling in her new home.

She said: "I'm really excited that I'm moving my family into a property that's not damaged and it's warm.

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"It is a bit sad because there are a lot of memories here. My kids were born here this is all they've known. When I come back on the land it'll be my brand new house.

"It'll be so exciting because that will be our house, we'll be part of the community and I'm never moving again."

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